Grass Farming, What it is and Why it's Important

We consider ourselves grass farmers. What is grass farming you may ask? Just as it sounds, we grow grass. Growing grass doesn't sound overly intersting or involved but it is the foundation of our pasture-based farm. Since our cows and our lambs eat nothing but grass, we focus on producing the best grass available to feed them the diet that they are designed for. By properly managing our livestock to graze (and eat down) and fertilize the grasses, we promote regrowth, increase soil organic matter and sequester a whole lot of carbon!

 

The cattle are only a piece of the puzzle. We rotationally graze our cattle in our pastures here in Walpole, NH. Along with our pasture-raised chickens, pigs, turkeys and lambs, the animal movements about the farm add manure to our fields. This manure feeds the soil and the animals are nourished by the perennial grasses that grow here in this fertile river valley.

 

Did you know that pigs, chickens and turkeys eat grass? The grass isn't only for the ruminants on the farm, it's enjoyed by everyone. The turkeys, chickens and hogs eat their fair share of the green stuff lending a delicate and delicious flavor to the chickens' eggs and meat.

 

One of our farmer idols Joel Salatin says that "herbivores do not require tillage or annuals, and that is why all historically deep soils have been created by them, not by omnivores." What we are trying to do here at Walpole Valley Farms is to create soils that will last for generations to come, soils that our grandchildren's grandchildren will be able to live off of. Our legacy will be the soil, a worthwhile legacy.

 

Over the past eight years since implementing a rigourous rotational grazing program for our cattle and rotating our laying hens, turkeys, pigs, lambs and broiler chickens, we have seen an amazing increase in the fertility and swath thickness of the grasses and deeper soils overall. We are proud of our rotational grazing program and we are reaping the benefits with more grass.

 

See us in action on the farm. Schedule a farm tour or stop on by during our farm store hours. We'd love to show you what we do and how we do it!


Caitlin

 

Write a comment

Comments: 5
  • #1

    Taylor Spruill (Monday, 05 May 2014 01:35)

    Resources like the one you mentioned here will be very useful to me!
    I will post a link to this page on my blog. I am sure my visitors will find that very useful.

  • #2

    Marie Gilchrist (Wednesday, 07 May 2014 05:50)

    This is wonderful! Kudos to you! I am all for grass...except for lawns! I see so many horses around here (So NH) just hanging around looking sad on dirt paddocks...so over grazed they will never be productive again. I feel so bad for them. Once more thank you for caring about the land and the animals it supports!

  • #3

    Caitlin (Wednesday, 07 May 2014 07:42)

    Thank you for your comment Marie! Those dirt paddocks would come back to beautiful grassland if properly managed. It is amazing what we can do with a lot of love and manure! Check out Alan Savory on You Tube, he has some wonderful talks on grazing desert and bringing it back to grassland. Thanks again and hope to see you in the farm sometime. Caitlin

  • #4

    Caitlin (Friday, 16 May 2014 10:13)

    Taylor I meant to thank you as well. I hope you enjoy the links!!

  • #5

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